Responding to COVID-19: How we are supporting Glebe’s young people and vulnerable community members

10 May – Update

Dear Friends,
To say things have been challenging (for everyone) is a massive understatement. I know each of you continues to be deeply impacted on a personal and professional level by COVID-19.
It is through our collective support for each other that we can navigate our way through and out of this pandemic. GYS has received some great support over the past few months, and for this, we are extremely grateful. It is clear that there is so much goodwill in our community and this has given us a real boost during these challenging times – all of us at GYS would like to thank you for your continued support! 
We’ve been busy since our last update so wanted to give a quick rundown of what we have been doing: 
  • We are playing a key role in coordinating local responses to COVID-19 by convening and chairing fortnightly video meetings with local orginisations, universities and groups. We’ve been working with Anglicare; The Benevolent Society; Mission Australia; Glebe Public School; Glebe Treehouse; Glebe Assistance Partnership Program (GAPP); Police; Glebe Centipede; City of Sydney; UTS and the University of Sydney (USYD) all with the aim of providing a coordinated and effective community service response to COVID-19.
  • We’re working with Mirvac to plan and deliver some exciting upgrades to our facilities – thanks you Mirvac for your continued support!
  • We are a NSW Government Registered COVID-19 Safe Business. This means we have a COVID-19 Safety Plan to ensure we are keeping the community safe in accordance with government guidelines.
Glebe Food Relief Distribution Hub
  • We’ve become the Food Relief Distribution Hub for Glebe, ensuring that those in need can access healthy food. We’ve partnered with the following organisations who are supplying food: Harris Farm; OzHarvest; SecondBite; Colombo Social; Gift of Bread; and Newington College.
  • The food is sorted, packed and delivered to local families and other people in the Glebe estate.
  • GYS is a member of the City of Sydney’s Food Security Coordination Group and is looking at a LGA wide coordinated response to COVID-19.
  • We’re delivering over 200 hot meals each weekend (supplied by Colombo Social). These meals are well received and also enable us to check in and offer additional support to families.
Glebe Youth Service Food Distribution Hub
Supporting Education
  • Our Youth Worker, Habil, is staying in touch with local children via regular visits to Glebe Public School and Centipede (OOHSC).
  • In collaboration with USYD and the Department of Communities and Justice, we’ve been sourcing refurbished computers to give to local children and young people so they can continue to engage with their education remotely.
  • We’re also providing support via regular phone calls to children and young people and one-on-one mentoring.  

Snapshot of achievements

23 March – 3 May we’ve delivered:
773 boxes of fruit and vegetables to around 95 homes per week;
805 hot meals to the Glebe community on Friday and Saturday nights;
500+ wellbeing checks (from the footpath) in order to stay connected to the community and understand the impact of the virus and how we can respond; and
150+ instances of phone support. 
Volunteer Kasper (left) and Glebe Treehouse’s Isabel Mocker (right) helping deliver food.
We’re grateful to have been able to continue to support the Glebe community through our new outreach model. However, the last few weeks haven’t been without challenges, some of these include:
  • We’re concerned about the long-term impact that the current environment is having on the education of many local children and young people, while we are doing our best to support them this is an area we must keep working on.  
  • Some projects and grants are on hold, as they can only be delivered effectively in person.  
  • Unsurprisingly, some of our financial sponsorship has dried up due to the economic impact of COVID-19. 
  • We have had a number of unexpected COVID-19 related costs that are putting pressure on our finances:
  • Van hire costs for our food home delivery service are adding up, and we now need extra funds to continue the service.
  • Setting up our staff to work from home has been costly as we have needed to buy laptops and webcams.

Thank you

We are very appreciative of the support we have received from our partners and from those in the community who have donated funds to our Food Relief Appeal. If you are able to consider a donation, either of physical items or financially, it would be greatly appreciated. Please use this link for financial donations or contact us if you have physical items you are able to donate. We understand that this might not be possible at this time. We are thankful for your support to date. 
Please stay in touch and stay safe,
Keiran Kevans
GYS Coordinator
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